Chapter Three-Trouble


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Chapter Three-Trouble

  1. 1. I never meant to cause you trouble, And I never meant to do you wrong - Trouble- Cold Play The sound of jangling keys rattled her out of her uncomfortable sleep. She had never thought it possible to fall asleep sitting upright in a cold, hard, uncomfortable chair, but she had stopped being surprised a long time ago. She tried to open her eyes but only darkness greeted her. She gasped, her lungs filled with panic. No! Somebody, please help me! She wanted to scream, but her throat felt parched. Am I?Am I blind? She could smell him, evil, hate and rage seeping through every pore of his body and she hated him? She sobbed softly with relief as it dawned on her that she was blindfolded.
  2. 2. Cruelly, she felt herself being lifted from the chair and thrown carelessly on what felt like a bed, but smelt too dirty and too musty to be called that. Relief and repulsion washed over her as she felt his cold, sticky hands loosen the knot on the back of her head. "Please? Please let me go," she begged, hoping he would find it in the hole he called a heart and see that she had suffered enough. Wordlessly, he slithered out of the dungeon he had thrown her in since their arrival two days earlier. She lay on the lumpy bed, feeling cold, bruised and battered beyond repair. A small smile formed on her swollen, cracked lips as she remembered the past and wondered why fate would deal her such a cruel hand. Instinctively, she patted her flat tummy, "It's okay. We'll be okay. He's just angry right now, I don't think he wants to hurt us," she murmured soothingly to the baby growing inside her.
  3. 3. Three months ago... Euphoria Launch - Victoria and Piper's gallery. "Victoria, I'd like you to meet Julian Scott," Piper murmured demurely as she introduced her business partner to the man she hoped would mend Victoria's broken heart. "It's great to meet you, Mr. Scott," Victoria answered politely. She looked breathtakingly beautiful in her silvery evening dress and her up swept hairstyle. "Please, call me Julian," the man whispered seductively in Victoria's ear causing her to blush a little.
  4. 4. From where she stood, she could see Kendra, Dean and Storm, admiring the night's show stopper, a beautiful masterpiece by one of the new artists they were showing tonight. Victoria's heart squeezed painfully as she stared at Storm's profile and remembered how, four days earlier he had made it clear to her they would never be together. She sighed sadly, wishing Kendra and Dean had not brought him. He was making it difficult for her to move on.
  5. 5. Across the room Storm's jaw tightened and a muscle twitched a little as he watched Victoria. Well, it didn't take her long now to move on, he mused broodingly. He did not know why he had the sudden urge to go up to the smooth operator drooling all over Victoria and punch him in the face. He hated the way Mr. Smooth looked at Victoria and the way he took her hand and bent down to whisper something in her ear. He did not know why though he hated it, after all he was the one who had told her they could not be together.
  6. 6. "Penny for your thoughts," Julian mumbled in a low, casual tone as he watched the varied emotions on Victoria's exquisite face. "Huh? Excuse me, I just zoned out for a second there. Do you see anything you like?" Victoria asked, turning red as she realized how flirtatious she sounded. "Definitely," Julian replied, moving closer to her, taking her small hand in his. "Excuse me, I must mingle. It's nice to meet you Julian," she stammered, taken aback by his boldness. She moved as far away from him and as quickly as her feet would allow her. Something about Julian Scott made her uneasy.
  7. 7. Outside, alone, she breathed a huge sigh of relief. It was a perfect night and one that she would remember always because she and Piper had finally done it. They had opened their first gallery! She wished her parents were here to see her now, but they could not make it due a business trip they had both had to go on.
  8. 8. "Storm, are you okay?" Kendra asked, a concerned look in her eyes. She had been watching him for the past few minutes and was amazed at the range of emotions on his face as he glared at Victoria flirting with a very handsome specimen from across the room. "I'm great. Just a little tired. Great party huh? Victoria and Piper have outdone themselves," Storm replied cooly, trying to sound as great as he said he was. ~
  9. 9. Two months ago "I wasn't sure you'd come. But I'm glad you did," Julian Scott greeted her warmly, scooting over so she could sit closer to him. "After hours of painting I can use some food," Victoria smiled. She was hesitant when he called her earlier and asked her to dinner. She barely knew the man and had only just met him the month before at the opening of her gallery. But it was not like she had anything better to do and so she had agreed to dinner at Londoste. Why not? She had thought. What harm could one meal do?
  10. 10. "So are you seeing anyone Victoria, an angry spouse that might just suddenly appear and beat me to a pulp?" Julian asked, his voice sounded light hearted, but his eyes were dead serious. Victoria looked away, a sad look in her eyes. "No... no one. I'm as free as a bird," she whispered, not realizing how bitter she sounded. "You don't sound happy about it," he picked up, he was an astute man.
  11. 11. "I'm not," she told him honestly, "the first time I truly fall in love with someone I pick the one who doesn't want me." "Who's the jerk?" he asked seriously. He didn't like seeing her so unhappy. The guy had to be mad not to want to get with her. "Storm...Storm Chace," she muttered without thinking. Suddenly she caught herself, why was she revealing so much to this stranger? Well, she needed to talk to someone who was not closely involved with the situation and Julian Scott was just the person. All her friends insisted she should go after Storm but she was not so sure. "You mean Special Agent Storm Chace? The guy who's wife was brutally murdered about two years ago?" Julian asked, curiosity lightening up his face.
  12. 12. FBI? What? Storm? Victoria was shocked, but suddenly it all made sense. She understood why he had never wanted to talk about his job. She knew about Emma because Kendra had told her. "Oh? You know him?" She asked casually, trying to hide her shock at the fact that Storm worked for the FBI. "I just read about him in the papers when Statham Island gets its occasional murder, serial killer or psycho, you know. I don't know the guy personally," he answered, still watching her closely. Gosh she was freaking awesome and if Chace did not want her that was his loss. He, Julian, would heal her broken heart!
  13. 13. Six weeks ago "Storm," she sighed his name softly. He opened his eyes and for a second he was unable to focus because of the bright light radiating from her. She sounded familiar. Her smell brought back memories he wished he could let go of. "Emma?" He asked, suddenly not sure if what he was seeing was real. Deep in the recess of his mind he knew he was dreaming; otherwise how was it possible that Emma was standing in front of him, talking to him when she had been dead for two years now?
  14. 14. "Darling, listen to me..." she cooed, her tone taking on a sense of urgency. "Emma, I'm so glad you are back. I thought you were gone. It must have been a dream. Oh, darling, I thought I'd lost you forever," he mumbled incoherently, delirious with joy. "Storm, I don't have much time. I wanted to let you know its okay. You need to let me go! I want you to find happiness. I hate seeing you so lonely and angry all the time," her words brought tears to his eyes. How could he let her go? She was his one true love.
  15. 15. "I'm out of time, I have to go. But please promise you will at least try to open up your heart to someone. You need to learn to love and believe in someone again. Please darling, will you do that for me?" Emma implored, her voice sounding further and further away and her bright light gradually fading. "Okay?I promise," he finally managed to croak, his voice choked with emotion.
  16. 16. Jerking, his arms flailing wildly, he woke up. Damn, He had fallen asleep in the hot tub and he had a report to write. He knew the dream about Emma was a sign that he had to let go. He had been holding on to her memory for far too long because if he did it would have meant that he was forgetting about her and he did not want to forget her. He understood now that Emma was his first love and moving on with his life did not mean he was betraying her. ~
  17. 17. One month ago "Hi, Victoria, it's Storm," he was aware of his tight grip on the phone. He willed himself to relax. For goodness sake, she was on the other side of the phone, she could not see him. A long, uncomfortable, painful silence followed. "Victoria? Are you there?"He asked uncertainly. He wanted to hear her voice; he did not know why but he just did. Maybe, just maybe he would ask her out to dinner if she would only say something.
  18. 18. Victoria's heart hammered wildly against her ribcage as blood rushed to her head, making her feel breathless and light headed. She could not understand what was happening to her. Was she not she over him yet? Should she be? "I'm right here," she whispered.
  19. 19. "Are you free tonight? I thought...I thought?" Damn this was akward. It had been so long since he had asked someone on a date he had forgotten how it was done. "Yes?" Victoria prompted him. She had no idea what he wanted. Maybe he wanted a painting or a sculpture. It did not cross her mind that maybe he was asking her out. "Can I take you out tonight?" Storm asked hopefully. "Maybe we can go for dinner and a movie?"
  20. 20. Her eyes widened in shock. She wanted to say yes and she wanted to be with him, but she could not put herself out there again, not like that. "I don't think it's a good idea Storm," she answered finally "Oh? Some other time then?" He asked again, trying to hide the disappointment in his voice. "No. Never! You were right, the timing is all wrong and we are just too different," she wailed sadly, glad he was not there to see the effect he had on. "How do you know we are too different? We've barely spent time together. Come on, I promise you'll have fun," Storm tried again, but she wasn't budging. "No. Let's leave it, its better this way," Victoria told him firmly, closing the door to what she felt for him. What she said next killed them both, "please don't ever phone me again!" With that she hung up on him and he was left reeling.
  21. 21. For a long time after she hung up on him Victoria sat with her head on the dining table and her whole body shook with tears. She could not understand why she had done that but she knew it was the right thing to do. These past few weeks she had been doing a whole lot of thinking and she had realized love should not be so complicated. What they shared with Storm was too intense. Their chemistry was potent and she knew he was attracted to her sexually. It had shown in the way he had made love to her. But sex did not equate to love. Sex between them would be great, in fact it would be better than awesome, but until when? She wanted more than just sex and well he was not offering anything at all, he was still too caught up in his grief over his wife. As much as she wanted him Victoria would not compete with a ghost. She knew she would lose anyway.
  22. 22. Her phone rang again, startling her out of her misery. "Hey pretty lady, wanna go eat?" Julian's sexy voice drawled on the other end. "I'll pass," she answered, her voice trembling a little and Julian picked up on this. "Are you okay? What's wrong?" They had grown quite close as friends over the past few weeks but Julian would be the happiest man in the world if she took him seriously and saw him as boyfriend material. Soon she would. Very soon! He was a patient man! "Nothing," she lied, rushing him off the phone, "I think I'm coming down with a cold or something. I'll call you tomorrow."
  23. 23. Three weeks ago "Well Victoria, your home pregnancy test was right. Your results are back and you are definitely on your way to being a mom," Dr Sterner announced, giving her a congratulatory hug. Victoria's whole world froze. She had taken the home pregnancy test a week ago when she had suddenly realized she had missed her period. When the two pink lines appeared on the test she had phoned Dr. Sterner and had gone in the very next day to see her and now a week later here she was with a fake smile plastered on her face. "Thanks," she mumbled, not knowing what anyone says after being told they were pregnant.
  24. 24. "You don't seem pleased?" Dr. Sterner enquired in a concerned voice. "I am. I'm thrilled," she answered. She truly was but she just wished things were different. "I'm sure the father will be thrilled," the doctor continued. "I don't know," Victoria answered honestly. "Who is the father? He is in the picture right?" the doctor asked curiously. "I don't know..." she answered honestly. Dr. Sterner shut her eyes in a pained expression; she would never have taken Victoria for the 'one night stand' sort. It was true, she did not know Storm Chace. He was a guy she had lost her head over and they had spent one unforgettable morning in bed, together. She knew, from Julian, that he worked as a profiler for the Behavioral Analysis Unit and that he helped catch serial killers, rapists and psychos. She knew he was still grieving for his late wife. But other than that, she did know him at all. "Oh! You mean it was a one night stand?" her doctor asked.
  25. 25. "Well, I can't get hold of him. I don't see him anymore." This was true. "I understand. I'm scheduling an ultrasound two weeks from now. Remember to take your supplements and call me if you need anything!" "I'll see you in two weeks Doc," Victoria promised. Feeling deflated she sank back on the hospital cot she had occupied minutes earlier before her world came crashing down. She was glad to be alone and grateful for the silence. She knew the doctor meant well and was just doing her job but right now she needed to think. She had not even decided if she was keeping the baby. "Yes," Victoria cried sadly. She did not want to get into this discussion with her doctor. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry, but we do need medical information from the father. We need to know if there are any medical issues on his side of the family," Dr Sterner informed her.
  26. 26. Two weeks ago Julian Scott was enraged! How dare she make him love her, lead him on and then tell him she was carrying another man's baby and she was leaving? He had never felt so much rage in his life. He could feel it seething...brewing...threatening to spill over. He'd never felt so humiliated and mad, but he hid it well. "Congratulations Victoria," he struggled to emit the words and to dig out some joy from dark place that had become his heart when she announced she was pregnant and she was visiting her parents for a while.
  27. 27. "I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but your support means a lot to me," Victoria told him gently. She cared about him a a friend. And she had told him from the start, like Storm had told her, that they would never be together and had chosen to stick around, hoping she would change her mind. "You are going back to him aren't you? You are not going to your parents? Are you? Are you?" He barked at her. He suddenly left his chair and scooped her out of hers and shook her wildly, unable to keep his anger in check now. He had tried so hard to stifle his rage, but oh, it was so damn painful, losing her to Special Agent Storm Chace. In his warped mind, he had built this perfect fantasy where he and Victoria were a couple.
  28. 28. "No! I'm not going back to Storm!" she cried, inching away from his anger. "Don't insult my intelligence by trying to lie to me Victoria!" He roared at her threateningly.
  29. 29. "I'm sorry, I have to go!" Victoria stammered. Sensing danger she instinctivel ducked for the door and ran as fast as her feet would carry her.
  30. 30. Inside the safety of her car, she took long deep breaths to calm herself. Her hands shook as she tried to put her car keys in the ignition. She was petrified. She had never seen Julian so angry and so out of control. As she drove towards her home she tried to make sense of what had just happened at Julian's. She tried to rationalize his behavior and make excuses for him and by the time she climbed up the stairs to her bedroom she felt drained. ~
  31. 31. Three days ago "Have you told him yet?" Piper asked. She had been hounding Victoria since she found out she was pregnant. "I mean you are leaving and I think he needs to know before you go." "No. I'm not going to tell him," Victoria gave her the same answer she had been giving since she had told Piper she was pregnant. "And I'm only going for two weeks you know, not forever, like you are making out! I'll tell him when I get back!"
  32. 32. Piper shook her head disapprovingly, "I know it's none of my business, but I think you should tell him!" "You are right," she seethed, "it's not your business and if you're done hounding me I've got some packing to do!" "Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you," Piper apologized, giving her a quick squeeze. Victoria was leaving the next day and the last thing Piper wanted was tension between them. She was going to miss her partner like crazy.
  33. 33. "See you in two weeks kiddo. Don't let your parents get you too homely. I need you to come back," Piper joked as she left, "Take care of both of you. Rest! And I'll call you every day!" she called over her shoulder. Victoria wanted to stop her, say something, because suddenly, she got the feeling that she would never see Piper again! Weird, she thought trying hard to shake the deep sense of foreboding rising in her gut. ~
  34. 34. Twenty fours ago [10:33 am] "What are you doing here?" Victoria asked, startled to see Julian at her front door. Her flight was leaving in an hour and she did not have much time. She had overslept and now she was rushing around like a mad woman. She was glad she had packed her bags last night. "Well I wanted to drive you to the airport," Julian answered. Ever since his outburst two weeks before when she told him she was pregnant there was tension between them. "Oh, you didn't have to. I can drive myself," she murmured politely. "No, I insist, someone has to look after you," he grunted, his gaze settling on her still flat tummy. She did not look pregnant to him. Victoria hesitated for a second but soon relaxed as she saw the smile on his face.
  35. 35. "Okay then, you win. You get to be Queen Victoria's chauffer for the day," she joked, sliding into the passenger seat next to Julian. "I'll be your chauffer any day," he teased back.
  36. 36. "You don't mind if I take a nap do you? I'm just so exhausted," she yawned as she sank into the leather seats and closed her eyes. "Not at all!" Julian murmured. She looked especially enchanting today, she was glowing and he basked in her presence.
  37. 37. "Julian? What's going on? Where are we? This isn't..." Victoria stuttered incoherently. She had fallen asleep for a little while. She looked outside the window and saw they were passing lots of trees. She realized then this was not the way to the airport. Her mind was still fuzzy from her small nap. She sat up and looked about her wildly. Julian gave her a cold, hateful look.
  38. 38. "Julian, what are you doing? Take me to the airport now!" She shrieked, panic rising at the pit of her stomach. She rummaged through her hand bag, trying to find her cell phone.
  39. 39. "Looking for this?" Julian taunted with an evil smile on his handsome face, holding up her cell phone. "Please. What are you doing? You can't do this. You have to take me to the airport now," she pleaded. A cruel, rage- filled, look crossed Julian's face and he clubbed the side of her head with his fist, "Shut up already, would you?" He barked violently. Victoria's eyes rolled back in her head as she sunk into unconsciousness. ~
  40. 40. Present day [9:45am] Storm wondered when she would leave. He wanted to be alone. They had just had sex...which was okay...not WOW...not HOT like it had been with Victoria. Just OKAY! Since Victoria's rejection, he was back on the dating scene and Nicky was the third woman he had been with in a little over a month. To be honest he was bored with the whole dating thing. Hoping he did not look as irritable as he felt, he forced himself to play along and cuddle. The buzzing sound of his cell phone was a welcomed relief. He gladly jumped off the bed, prying himself from Nicky's stifling grasp.
  41. 41. "Chace!? he answered, shrinking further away from his bed and Nicky's viperous hands. "We need you right away," Melissa Swanson's voice was music to his ears. Melissa is BAU's media liaison officer and she's in charge of screening and deciding which cases to take. "I'll be there in fifteen," he told her, happy to be going to work, away from his lonely apartment, away from the meaningless sex he seemed to be having lately.
  42. 42. Statham Island Behavioural Analysis Unit. 10:05am "What's going on? I came as soon as I could," Storm mumbled an apology as he took his seat at the conference table. He was the last one to arrive and by the looks of things his team already what the case was about and they just had to brief him. "A woman was abducted two days ago," Melissa started briefing him, but he interrupted. "Isn't that SI PDs baby?" He asked noting the strange glances he got from his team,. "Ordinarily yes, but the kidnapper asked for the BAU, specifically for you Chace!" Special Agent Ron Richardson, the head of Statham Island Behavioral Analysis Unit answered. "Why? My specialty is not hostage situations," Storm asked, intrigued
  43. 43. Wordlessly, Melissa turned on the over head projector. Storm's body shook violently. He struggled to breathe, and he felt like the wind had been knocked out of him. "Is this some kind of sick joke?" He screamed as a pitiful image of what appeared to be Victoria's lifeless body filled the screen. No?Not Victoria! No?! It couldn't be! Before his team could answer, the conference room's phone rang and six pairs of eyes turned to him. With shaking hands he picked up the phone and knew it was Victoria's kidnappers.
  44. 44. "Special Agent Chace, what if I told you I have Victoria Mendez, would that be something that you might be interested in?" rasped the voice on the other end of the phone. Out of the corner of his eye, Storm saw Special Agent Josh Cobain, their IT whizz kid, furiously hit keys on the laptop, trying to trace the call. "Why would she interest me?" Storm asked, his heart squeezing painfully as he caught a glimpse of her image on the projector screen. "Are you saying she doesn't? Because, if that's the case I might as well just kill her right now!" raged Victoria's abductor. "How do I know she's still alive?" Storm asked. He knew he was babbling but he was trying to keep the caller on the line for as long as possible so they could get a trace. "I've sent you and your 'special friends' something. Your whizz kid should be receiving it now. I will call you at precisely 4pm to tell you what I want!" With that the line went dead. Storm knew from Josh's dejected shoulders they had not managed to trace the call.
  45. 45. Everyone in the room gasped in horror as they watched what appeared to be a live feed. Storm felt sick to his core; his stomach heaved uncontrollably and occasionally he felt like he was about to throw up. But no matter how hard he tried to look away he could not. He had thought he had died along with Emma and nothing could destroy or hurt him again but he had been wrong.The live feed tore him to pieces. He could not understand how someone would want to treat another human being, especially a woman, the way the guy was treating Victoria. Storm flinched every time Victoria got a slap or a shove. Something about Victoria's kidnapper seemed familiar...Storm's gut told him he knew the mad man from somewhere but he just could not remember from where? He tried to force his memory to recall where he had seen the guy but he could not.
  46. 46. Present day (Victoria's dungeon) -Live Feed being watched by the BAU TEAM Victoria slowly tried to force her eyes open. She lay crumpled on the cold stone floor. She did not know where she was, how long she had been unconscious for or what day it was. She could taste blood on her lips. Her mouth felt swollen. Slowly, her memory started coming back. She remembered how Julian had hit her on the side of her head with his fist and how she had banged her head on the window before she lost consciousness but she was struggling to remember how long ago that was. She tried to stand up from the floor but felt too weak. Her stomach growled, instinctively she touched it, wondering if her baby was still okay.
  47. 47. "So, you're finally awake," Julian hissed cruelly, his mouth twisting into a mean slash. "Please...You have to let me go. My parents?" she cried, but only to be met by a hot slap on the side of her face. "Don't lie to me!" Julian raged. He was completely removed from reality now. In his fantasy world, he and Victoria were a couple and she had cheated on him with Special Agent Storm Chace and she was now pregnant with Storm's child. "I know, you were planning on leaving me for that Special Agent Storm Chace!"
  48. 48. "Julian, please! I wasn't leaving you. I was going to my parents! I haven't seen Storm in months. He told me...he told me he didn't want me and I left him alone?" Victoria sobbed in her hands. "I don't believe you! You are pregnant with his child aren't you? So you were going to leave me for him...That fool, who couldn't even protect his own wife! Let's see if he'll do a better at protecting you!? He spat out, his voice shaking with bitter resentment. "I swear! He doesn't know. I didn't tell him. I promise I didn't tell him about the baby. I left him alone. You can ask him, yourself!" she begged, trying to buy herself some reprieve? "Well I might just do that Victoria?" He bellowed before slithering out of the dank room.
  49. 49. When he was gone Victoria let out tears of relief, glad that Julian had given her temporary reprieve. Her stomach growled again, and wordlessly she patted her tummy, trying to comfort her baby. "It's okay. Mommy will get us out of here," she whispered over and over again, looking directly at the camera and trying to send telepathic messages to someone out there...Anyone...Anybody! She knew it was stupid but in this dark place she could only dream and wish for a miracle. She also knew the camera was transmitting to some part of the house but still, she could only hope. She was hungry exhausted and she could feel cramps in her lower abdomen. She hoped the baby was okay. If she came out of this alive, she would take her baby as far away from this place!
  50. 50. It pained Storm to see her like that and he could not stand around and do nothing. Swearing violently, he looked away from the computer screen his team was glued to. Josh Cobain worked furiously, trying to hack into the live feed and figure out where it was transmitting from, but so far his attempts were fruitless, he could not get past the sophisticated firewall.
  51. 51. "I'll kill him when I get my hands on him," Storm raged. Everyone in the room could feel his anger threatening to combust. If it was not clear before how critical the situation was, it was now. Victoria and his baby, the baby she had conveniently forgotten to tell him about, were in danger. He had never felt so much rage and watching that mad man knock Victoria around, knowing full well she was pregnant enraged him even more.
  52. 52. "Hey, man, you need to calm down. We'll find her," Special Agent Pete Charlton tried to comfort him. "Victoria's in a fragile condition and...and that mad man can't be beating up on her like that? He can't man? He just can't?" Storm cried helplessly, his voice quivering with emotion. He knew he had to get himself together for Victoria's sake and for the sake of their baby.